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Details of funding for extra school places revealed

07/11/2011 Joanna
Michael Gove MP has revealed how the extra £500 million pledged earlier this year to help address the shortage in pupil places will be allocated.

The Secretary of State for Education said that the funds would be used to help reduce the strain on those local authorities struggling the most with rising pupil numbers.

This will likely include hiring extra primary and secondary school teachers, particularly after Eurostat research indicated last month that the UK already has some of the largest class sizes in Europe.

The research indicated that this is particularly pressing for primary schools, where additional teachers and teaching assistants will likely be required to address the fact that there are typically 19.9 students per primary school teacher in the UK, the highest rate anywhere on the continent.

With the new funding being used to create more places for students, more teachers will need to be drafted in to ensure new and existing schools can cope with the greater student population.

Mr Gove said: "In July, I announced that an extra £500 million would be made available this year to local authorities experiencing the greatest need in managing shortfalls in providing pupil places.

"I can announce today that over one hundred local authorities will receive a share of the funding. The allocations have been calculated using figures provided to the Department for Education by local authorities through the 2011 School Capacity and Forecast Information returns.

"By using the most up-to-date information available we are making sure the savings identified are being targeted to local authorities experiencing the most severe need."

Including this additional funding, a total of £1.3 billion has been set aside to create additional school places for the 2011-12 academic year.

This money is being provided primarily in the form of capital grants that are not ring fenced. Mr Gove revealed that the majority of funds are being put towards small primary school projects.

"I would like to reassure those local authorities whose needs were not as severe as others - and which, therefore, did not receive a share of this extra £500 million - that future capital allocations for basic need and maintenance pressures will be announced later in the year," he added. ADNFCR-2164-ID-800788769-ADNFCR
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